The hardest strike of UFC 296 belonged to featherweight Josh Emmett, whose punching prowess caused a scary scene following his bout against Bryce Mitchell.
Emmett knocked Mitchell out cold with a single hard right midway through the first round of the main card opener in Las Vegas on Saturday, sending the 29-year-old into convulsions on the mat. It took multiple minutes for Mitchell to get into a state where he could walk on his own.
"I am the most powerful featherweight in the world. It only takes one shot," Emmett said after the fight. "I'm back baby. I'm f***ing back, you guys."
Emmett entered UFC 296 having lost his previous two fights against Yair Rodríguez and Ilia Topuria. The former fight was for the UFC interim featherweight championship, but the two losses pushed Emmett down to sixth in the promotion's rankings in the division.
Emmett was initially supposed to face Giga Chikadze at UFC 296, but an undisclosed injury forced Chikadze to bow out two weeks before the event. Mitchell stepped in on short notice, and ended up paying a price. Emmett said he appreciated the effort.
"I want to thank Bryce for taking the fight. He took it on two weeks' notice. He's a dangerous guy, I wish him nothing but the best," Emmett said.
The loss knocks Mitchell's record down to 16-2, but there are obviously bigger concerns for him after Saturday.